Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss Nebraska’s hiring of Matt Rhule as its next head coach, and debate if he can lead Nebraska back to its former glory.
PAT FORDE: The college world's changed since Matt Rhule was last in it in 2019. But a good solid football guy for a place that needs a good solid football coach.
DAN WETZEL: Nebraska gets Matt Rhule over the weekend. He turned it down last week. They work out the numbers. He comes in, he's a talker, he built up Temple. He took over Baylor and did such a good job, people, it's hard to remember how bad of a situation Baylor was. Like, he turned a disaster into just a little hiccup.
And now he's got some NFL experience, which no matter how bad you are in the NFL, it's still a bonus. And I think we all think Nebraska has enormous potential, because of their NIL possibilities and their fan base. And can you, can a guy like Matt Rhule bridge the gap of where the hell are we getting players. Because it's the only thing missing in Nebraska is players. So Ross, thoughts on Matt Rhule.
ROSS DELLENGER: Yeah, just visiting there like six weeks ago or so. I spent three or four days there, and they've got it all except one thing. They've got the resources, they got the, building a $160 million new football facility to replace a facility that most Power Five teams would like to have.
They fill the stadium, the fans are incredible. They're the only game in town. They got a lot of money, they got a lot of NIL money. They've got it all except, except a nearby recruiting footprint with a lot of talent. That's what they're missing.
So I don't, obviously, it was a big hire. I think that, yeah, it almost didn't work out. I think that this was probably, you talk to folks up at Nebraska and this is maybe the third time that they had circled back to Rhule. Talking to him the first time a few weeks ago, it didn't work out for whatever reason.
And they circle back, because I think that there were quite a bit of people who have current college jobs who did not want the Nebraska job. I do. And so they had, they circled back to him. And it worked out in the end. I think they got really who they wanted to at the start. I really think they had zeroed in on him being the guy, it sure seems like.
And yeah, he's got an incredible resume in college. Incredible turnarounds at Temple and Baylor. He is, he is a win the press box guy, or win the press conference guy too. You saw it yesterday, like he's the son of a preacher. I mean, it, you could tell. He is enthusiastic and bubbly and talkative. And man, you can see why he, why kids want to go play for him. So he's got to find players. He's got to get him to Lincoln, Nebraska. That's about all they're missing.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, I mean I thought they did absolutely as well as they could to get Matt Rhule. The one thing, and I think this will be fine, but the college world's changed since Matt Rhule was last in it in 2019. We all know the big changes. The transfer, immediate eligibility transfer, and NIL.
But he's a smart guy. He's actually been out of work for like eight weeks. He probably had a chance to study up knowing he was going back to the college game and start working on staff and everything else. So I don't think it will be a huge impediment, but a good solid football guy for a place that needs a good solid football coach.
ROSS DELLENGER: And I think part of the reason why early on maybe it broke down with Rhule is we got to remember, Rhule has, had, $40 million coming to him to do nothing at all. And he was on a beach. I saw that he was on a beach during his interview with Game Day and somewhere, somewhere on a beach. And yeah, that's where I would be too. I think a lot of people would have just stayed on the beach.
But he comes, he comes to Nebraska and clearly by the structure of his contract, I think some of the Panthers money is being used early in the first couple of years or so. But the Panthers just got off real nicely. Instead of $40 million, maybe they have to only give $5, $10 million to him.
DAN WETZEL: Maybe hiring him in the first place for Carolina wasn't the brightest idea. Also, don't take an NFL job unless you got a quarterback, gentlemen.
ROSS DELLENGER: Yeah, yeah.
PAT FORDE: That's the eternal truth.
ROSS DELLENGER: Good advice.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, yeah.